Reuben writes letters to Ban, Security Council over recent rocket, mortar barrages in South; says attacks are "a clear violation of international law."
By JORDANA HORN
NEW YORK – Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Meron Reuben wrote letters to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the Security Council expressing his “grave concern” in the face of a terror attack at a bus stop in Jerusalem Wednesday.“Clearly intended to harm innocent civilians, this appalling and criminal attack also injured more than 40 people, according to initial reports, leaving three people in critical condition and five people in serious condition,” Reuben wrote, noting that the attack followed a “marked increase” in terror activity deliberately targeting Israeli civilians by Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups.RELATED:'We can't tolerate attacks on Israelis in South, J'lem'Palestinian rocket slams into AshkelonIsrael vows to avenge Gaza mortar barrageReuben noted that on Wednesday, two Grad-type Katyusha rockets were fired by Palestinian terrorists at Beersheba, with one landing in the middle of a residential area in the city, injuring one man and damaging nearby buildings, including a synagogue.Also on Wednesday, Reuben wrote, a Katuysha rocket was fired close to Ashdod, as well as eight mortars into Eshkol and Sha’ar Hanegev.Noting that the past week has seen 63 launches of mortar shells and four rockets from Gaza into southern Israel, Reuben called it “an unprecedented increase in the projectile fire emanating from the Gaza Strip since the end of Operation Cast Lead in 2009.”As Reuben has noted in six other letters to the Secretary General and Security Council, “such attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip constitute a clear violation of international law and must be addressed with the utmost seriousness.”Advertisement“Israel holds the Hamas terrorist organization – the de facto authority in the Gaza Strip – fully responsible for all attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip,” Reuben wrote. “In response to the relentless attacks against it, Israel has exercised and will continue to exercise its right to self-defense, as appropriate, and will take all necessary measures to protect its citizens. Israel will also do all in its power to bring to justice the terrorists that committed the horrific crimes against its citizens today in Jerusalem.”The attempt to transfer weaponry from Iran to terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip through Syria by the Victoria, Reuben wrote, is “a blatant violation of numerous Security Council resolutions, including Security Council resolution 1860 –– and represents only the tip of the iceberg of these two countries illegal efforts to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip.”“In view of these troubling developments, Israel expects the Security Council, the Secretary-General, and the international community to condemn all of these attacks in very clear terms and send a firm message to these terrorists and their patrons, which seek to escalate conflict,” Reuben wrote, adding that the international community and Security Council should devote more attention to prevention of arms smuggling into the Gaza Strip.“Unfortunately, this important issue – an integral part of Security Council resolution 1860 – does not receive the appropriate attention that it deserves,” Reuben concluded.
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